Great SWL Memories

Shortwave Listening – my “gateway drug” into Ham Radio and a 38 year career in IT

It was all sparked by the “inventors” series that Ms. Goodin taught in my 4th grade class at Merriam Avenue School. (And yes, that is the same Merriam as Merriam Webster fame).

I was awestruck by stories of Edison and Marconi, and then in Boy Scouts, I saw a fellow Scouts Heathkit and had to build one myself. Several cold solder joints and a tearful trip to Heathkit in Fairlawn – and a few weeks later I had a working receiver!

The dial on the radio was not just a set of cold hard numbers – each band segment offered a full menu of times and locations around the globe. I remember being amazed at Radio South Africa, Deutsche Welle, BBC, Radio Moscow. Radio Tirana, etc

This graphic is exactly what was going through my head in the year or two before I became a Ham Radio Novice – with callsign WN2QHN.

To this day I listen much more than I transmit – its soothing and relaxing to just tune around and see what magic I can hear from the other side of the globe. Sadly, while commercial and state sponsored propaganda stations are very long gone – ham radio operators take up the slack and offer all kinds of silly on the air “content”.

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